“Protest Against the Budget of Betrayals Presented by Narendra Modi Led NDA Government”
The Narendra Modi led NDA Government has backed out totally from the promises made during election campaign and his first speech in parliament after the election results. His election promises were summed up in his famous slogan “Achche Din Aane Wale Hain” (Good Days are going to Come). He promised to end price rise, to end corruption by good, clean, and transparent governance; generate large number of jobs by taking suitable measures in the economy; take effective steps for accelerating economic development; bring prosperity for rural populace; and bring all out prosperity for all, especially for the poor and the disadvantaged sections of society like STs, SCs, and OBCs.
But the first budget presented by the Finance Minister, and the Railway budget presented by the Railway Minister show that the budget is good for the rich people, and bad for the common people of our country. Before even the budget was presented, the government hiked the railway passenger fares by 14.5% from 25th June, 2014. The railway freight charges for the goods were also increased. Diesel and petrol prices have also been increased. The prices of LPG and Kerosene oil have also been increased. The government has announced that there will be massive increase in diesel, petrol, LPG, and Kerosene oil prices after September. All the subsidies on them would be withdrawn, and domestic oil produced would also be priced at international level to attract Foreign Capital and Indian Corporate houses in the petroleum sector.
This would give massive increase in the profit of Mukesh Ambani’s Company in Godavari Basin oil exploration business. The price of natural gas is going to be hiked from $4 for one BTU to $8 and then to $12 in the next year. As is being demanded by the Reliance industries. If the prices of natural gas were rised by one dollar per BTU, the price of urea would increase by Rs.1350 per tonne Ambanis have been pressurizing the government to give international prices for the domestic oil, and produced 12% gas from KG6 in 2013-14 of what they were duty bound to produce. Instead of cancelling their license, it imposed a fine of Rs 14,000 crore which in all likelyhood would go for litigation, the government is going to reward them by increasing the price of natural. The increase in the price of diesel and gas increases the transportation and production costs of all the products leading to further price rise. But Ambani and other Corporate bigwigs were the main providers of the huge election fund (to the tune of nearly 10 thousand crores) to Narendra Modi in the election. The budget and pre-budget steps of the government have led to steep rise in prices generating frustration and anger among the people. On the other hand budget and policy of the government has created great enthusiasm among the Corporate houses, MNCs, business classes, and the rich people in general.
Adding insult to injury the government has announced to start Bullet train in the country at a cost of 60,000 crores of rupees to run from Mumbai to Ahmedabad,the passenger fare of which will only be met by the richer sections of the society, but has made provision of only Rs.1000 crore additional money to agricultural sector and completely ignored the necessity to allocate funds to fight massive drought like situation in country. What a mockery of taking care of 60% people living in the rural areas! And this is the act of a government whose Prime Minister started his speech in Parliament with the words that his government is a government for the poor.
This government continues to follow the neoliberal policies of imperialist globalization and privatization of the previous government, but has declared its intent in the budget to reduce and ultimately end the welfare measures of the previous government like Food Security Act, MNREGA, Land Acquisition Act, etc. On the other hand lakhs of crores of concessions and tax relief has been given / continued to the big industry and business. Food Security Act, MNREGA, and Land Acquisition Act were enacted after prolonged struggle of the people to provide food security, employment, and protecting land rights of the peasants and tribals. Though these measures like Food security Act, MNREGA etc only partially met peoples’ needs, they provided some relief to the poor people in the rural areas. The tribals were facing large scale eviction and displacement due to the construction of big dams, mining projects, industries, etc. Instead of addressing these issues the government has announced its decision to raise the height of Narmada dam which is bound to displace large number of tribals in Madhya Pradesh and other affected states. Lakhs of peasants committed suicides during last two decades of Globalisation policies. Millions of tribals and other peasants lost for SEZs, Industries, dams, mines, roads, urban housing, etc. Peoples’ protests and movements like in Nandigram and Singur broke out in different parts of the country. Then British Land Acquisition Act was replaced by a new Act, which says that at least 80% of land owners should agree to give land, only then land can be acquired. This government is trying to do away with this provision, or to scrap the Act altogether. The Corporate Houses and MNCs have been demanding this. These policies of the government announced in the budget are great betrayal to the poll promises to the people in the interest of handful of super rich.
On the employment and corruption fronts also this government’s budget has a negative approach. More than 50% employment is still provided by agriculture employing large number of small, middle, and poor peasants. There is only bad news for them in the budget. The government has refused to declare drought and provide relief to the rural masses. In the non-agricultural sector, 90% employment is provided by the informal sector including small and micro enterprises. There is nothing worth mentioning for this sector in the budget except promising to constitute yet another committee to suggest ways of providing financial assistance to them. All big talks are for formal organized sector which includes big capitalists, Corporate houses, and MNCs but they provides only 10% employment in the non-agricultural sector, and 15% of total consumption. But to promote the interest and income of this sector massive selling of shares of Public Sector Undertakings including banks to the tune of 63,000 crores to the MNCs and private sector has been announced.
To please the imperialist governments like US, UK, Germany, France, Japan, etc. and foreign Institutional Investor, MNCs and other foreign Capitalists, our Defence production, Insurance, etc. have been opened for them upto 49% shares. Last UPA government had already opened many other sectors for these foreign players. All this is being done in the name of development and creating employment opportunities. But facts speak otherwise. The formal sector including all the industries, IT sector, banks, etc. provide jobs to only 1 crore 40 lakh people, Whereas the informal sector including SME, provide jobs to nearly 10 crores and 80 lakh people, and agriculture provides employment to nearly 32 crore people. What a tragedy! Nothing for agriculture, nothing for SMEs, and all for handful of Corporates, Industrials and big traders. All these measures will bring “Achcha din” (good days) for the rich, and misery for common people i.e. workers, peasants, tribals, students, youths, small business and enterprises, etc.
The government has not done anything to curb massive corruption witnessed in the Central government which rocked the nation. BJP at that time supported Anna Hazare led movement for a powerful Lokpal and Lokayukta. But the present government under Narendra Modi is silent on this vital demand of large section of people. Modi’s government appointed a committee to unearth black money, at the same time it revived the Kisan Vikas Patra scheme which was withdrawn by the UPA government in the face severe criticism that it became an instrument for black money laundering. This exposes the hypocrisy of the present government.
In such situation people have no other way except to oppose the anti-people intent and actions of the government. So, we appeal to you all, to protest this massive betrayal of poll promises to you, the common people of India, and start movement to build a real New India which takes care of 95% of the people not 5% rich, and a handful of super rich.
Oppose imperialist globalization, privatization and liberalization.
Stop tinkering with Food Security Act
Implement MNREGA on full scale after removing corruption.
Stop anti-people changes in Land Acquisition Act
Roll back privatisation of PSUs and public sector banks.
Stop privatisation of Defence production
Stop price rise
Declare drought in the country, and immediately take up relief measures.
Implement pro-people development policy
With Revolutionary Greetings
Communist Party of India (Marxist – Leninist)